Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky may have earned accolades for his speech at the Joint Session of Congress but he is being slammed for wearing a casual outfit instead of wearing a suit. The first to berate Zelensky for this was Tucker Carlson, who said that the Ukraine President looked like a "manager of a strip club demanding money."
Not only Carlson, but also Zelensky's choice of wardrobe is being panned by conservatives. He received severe criticism from conservatives on social media also for not wearing a suit during his meeting with President Joe Biden. He wore military fatigues for the visit, although foreign heads of state usually dress in something a little more traditional.
Not Appropriate for the Occasion
In contrast to Joe Biden, who was dressed in a suit, Zelensky arrived at the White House in a casual ensemble that included a camouflage-colored sweatshirt, matching slacks, and combat boots.
Carlson took a shot at Zelensky amid the United States' own border problems, after a pandemic-era federal immigration statute known as Title 42 expired, enabling a flood of migrants into the country and putting a strain on the budget.
Following his meeting with Biden on Wednesday, Zelensky spoke before Congress, pleading for yet another round of financing for defensive weaponry.
"The president of Ukraine arrived at the White House dressed like the manager of a strip club and demanding money and amazingly no one threw him out," Carlson said.
"Instead they did whatever he wanted and American taxpayers declared that Joe Biden will continue to give Zelensky whatever he demands for 'As long as it takes.'"
At one point, Carlson said the Ukraine president's attire was reminiscent of something disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had done.
"The media, Congress, the White House all love this weird little guy called Bankman-Fried. Remember that? We were reminded of that."
Social Media Backlash
Zelensky's Washington visit comes as American senators debate a $1.7 trillion omnibus budget bill that contains an additional $45 billion in military aid to Ukraine, which some conservatives are opposing.
Carlson also said some important issues were not addressed during the visit. Soon after Carlson's comments, several conservatives took to social media to slam Zelensky for the inappropriate outfit.
Donald Trump Jr. was one of those criticizing Zelensky and labeling him a "welfare queen." A few hours later, the right-wing discussion centered on Zelensky's allegedly "disrespectful" apparel.
"Zelensky flies all the way to the US, but still can't put on a suit," Breitbart politics editor Emma-Jo Morris tweeted. "Circus."
"I know there's a war, but #Zelensky isn't under fire. He flew to the U.S. aboard a U.S. government private jet, arrived at the White House in a Chauffeur Driven SUV, yet showed up wearing a sweatshirt. It's better than a t-shirt, but I still maintain the proper attire is a suit," tweeted financial commentator Peter Schiff.
"This ungrateful piece of s*** does not have the decency to wear a suit to the White House -- no respect the country that is funding his survival," Newsmax host Benny Johnson tweeted. "Track suit wearing eastern european con-man mafia. Our leaders fell for it. They have disgraced us all. What an incredible insult."
Writer and podcaster V.F. Castro also mocked Zelensky and tweeted: "Zelensky can pose in fashion magazines during war, but he dresses in 'war casual' to the White House?"
"Zelensky arrives at the White House to demand more support than $45B aid in the omnibus bill. For $45B, show some respect and rent a suit," tweeted Wendell Husebo, writer for the conservative news website Breitbart.
"Zelensky can't wear a suit to the White House?" tweeted Libby Emmons, editor-in-chief of conservative news website The Post Millennial.